Publish date:
Updated on

MTV’s The Real World leaves Hollywood

On this day in 2008, the final episode of The Real World: Hollywood, a reality television show about seven young adults selected to live together, airs on MTV. Real World: Hollywood marked the 20th season of the pioneering reality program, which debuted in 1992 and went on to become MTV’s longest-running show.

MTV (Music Television) was launched on August 1, 1981, as a channel dedicated to music videos, but by the late 1980s the network had started airing some non-video programming. The Real World, created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, premiered in May 1992 with the first season set in New York City. Since that time, subsequent seasons have been filmed in cities around the world, including Boston, Miami, Paris and Sydney. Each season has followed the same basic format: A cast of seven men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 are selected from auditions to have their lives captured on camera while they live together for several months. The housemates are from diverse backgrounds and frequently clash over issues of race, sexuality, politics, love and dirty dishes. Each show opens with cast members reciting the words: “This is the true story… of seven strangers…picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens when people stop being polite…and start getting real.”

Throughout the series, Real World housemates have battled a variety of personal issues, including alcoholism and eating disorders. One of the show’s most notable seasons was the third, Real World: San Francisco, which featured an obnoxious bike messenger named Puck, who frequently clashed with housemate Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive AIDS educator. At the time, Zamora was one of the first openly gay young people with AIDS to be featured on a mainstream TV program. Zamora died in November 1994, shortly after the show’s season finale aired. He was commended for his activism by then-President Bill Clinton.

After appearing on The Real World, which spawned the spin-off programs Road Rules and Real World/Road Rules Challenge, some cast members have used the show as a springboard to careers in acting, modeling and public speaking.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


Romanov remains identified

British forensic scientists announce that they have positively identified the remains of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II; his wife, Czarina Alexandra; and three of their daughters. The scientists used mitochondria DNA fingerprinting to identify the bones, which had been excavated more

President Taylor dies of cholera

Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, dies suddenly from an attack of cholera morbus. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore. Raised in Kentucky with little formal schooling, Zachary Taylor received a U.S. Army commission in 1808. He became a captain in 1810 and more

First female army officer

In a ceremony held at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, General Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints Florence Blanchfield to be a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in U.S. history to hold permanent military rank. A member of the Army Nurse Corps since more

Wimbledon tournament begins

On July 9, 1877, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs showed up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. The winner more

Soviets protest U.S. bombing of Haiphong

The Soviet Union sends a note to the U.S. embassy in Moscow charging that the air strikes on the port of Haiphong endangered four Soviet ships that were in the harbor. The United States rejected the Soviet protest on July 23, claiming, “Great care had been taken to assure the more

Satchel Paige makes debut with Cleveland Indians

On this day in 1948, 42-year-old Leroy “Satchel” Paige pitches two innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the newly–and barely–integrated American League. The game came 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance. Leroy Page was born on July 7, more

U.S. takes San Francisco

An American naval captain occupies the small settlement of Yerba Buena, a site that will later be renamed San Francisco. Surprisingly, Europeans did not discover the spectacular San Francisco Bay until 1769, although several explorers had sailed by it in earlier centuries. When more

Trains collide outside Nashville

Two trains collide outside Nashville, Tennessee, killing 101 people, on this day in 1918. Despite the high death toll, the story was mainly ignored by the national press. Instead, the engineer headed out after a freight train passed by, a terrible mistake. Train No. 1 had more

New York elects its first governor

On this day in 1777, New York elects Brigadier General George Clinton as the first governor of the independent state of New York. Clinton would go on to become New York’s longest-serving governor, as well as the longest-serving governor in the United States, holding the post more